In addition to overall No. 1 and Division II No. 1 Yucaipa, others that can say they are mythical state champions for 2015 are Amador Valley of Pleasanton (Division I), East Union of Manteca (D3), Paraclete of Lancaster (D4) and Riverdale (D5).
For more on the 2015 State Team of the Year announcement, CLICK HERE.
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Congratulations to these five softball teams for being added to the list of all-time state teams of the year according to our traditional Cal-Hi Sports five division format (writeups by Paul Muyskens & Mark Tennis):
Amador Valley (Pleasanton)
Since both Yucaipa and Mission Viejo are D2, the Dons (25-3) get to finish No. 1 for D1 schools for a second straight season. They were 26-0 last season. Coach Theresa Borchard’s girls won their second straight CIF North Coast Section D1 title last Saturday with a 5-1 win over James Logan of Union City. The Dons ended with three losses. Two of those were later avenged and the other one was to Yucaipa. And with freshman Danielle Williams around for while, Amador probably isn’t going anywhere as one of the state’s top programs.
As this writeup is going out, the only question about the Tbirds is whether they will move up to No. 1 in the final FloSports.com FAB 50 national rankings. They also have been chosen as the overall State Team of the Year.
East Union (Manteca)
All season long, the Lancers seemingly swung mighty swords at the plate, which culminated in a whopping 71 runs scored in six playoff wins.
Facing two-time defending champion Pioneer of Woodland in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D3 final, the Lancers defeated the Patriots 12-1 and 17-3 with a roster that had just one senior (Oregon-bound Cherish Burks).
On the season, East Union (30-3) averaged just under 10 runs per game as junior Samantha Owen drove in 61 runs and sophomore Alexis Erich hit 10 home runs and drove in 59.
Coming into the final week, East Union was behind both Grand Terrace and Highland of Palmdale in the D3 state rankings. Both of those teams then lost in CIF Southern Section finals. EU also would have to be ranked as the top overall team in the SJS regardless of division and even had a head-to-head win over Central Section D1 champion Clovis.
In the name of competitive equity, the CIF Southern Section is beginning to mix in very large schools into some of its smaller divisions. It didn’t matter for the Spirits as they captured the school’s first CIF Southern Section championship in the school’s 52-year history with a 9-2 win over Savanna of Anaheim in the Division VI finals.
It was the 8th time that Paraclete (26-3) has reached the finals but the first time Margaret Neill was able to take the championship plaque. She chalked up the 696th win during her 37-year coaching career.
Early in the season, the Spirits also won 2 of 3 against Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks while also losing a 1-0 game against West Ranch of Valencia.
Kailla Searcy of the team returns next season and has a chance to beat the career state record of 58 home runs that was just set by Chino Hills’ Tannon Snow.
The Cowgirls (29-6) actually have been done for awhile and now it’s official. Although Rolling Hills Prep certainly ended the season strongly with its CIFSS title, we already determined it would have too many losses to be in front of either Riverdale or SJS D6 champ Mariposa County for the final rankings.
Head coach Bryan Close’s team had a close call in the semifinals with a 2-1 win over Coalinga but their Central Section Division V championship game wouldn’t be that close. Riverdale defeated Sierra Pacific of Hanford 14-4 behind Mikayla Maggini, who went 4 for 4 with a home run and five runs batted in.